Georgia Tech 5, Clemson 1

Davies pitches, hits Georgia Tech into championship game

CorrespondentMay 27, 2012 

Before Saturday’s game in the ACC baseball tournament, Jake Davies compiled four hits, three walks, three home runs and seven RBIs in the first two games for the eighth-seeded Yellow Jackets.

Davies, a senior, continued his dominance over ACC pitching with a two-run home run and earned the win as a pitcher on Saturday afternoon at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro as Georgia Tech defeated Clemson 5-1 to advance to the ACC championship Sunday at noon.

“Jake gave us the lead early with another great at-bat and really settled in on the mound,” Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said. “He pitched great and we had some very timely hits when we needed them early and we had some great plays defensively.

Davies, the Jackets’ everyday first baseman, pitched six innings, giving up only two hits and one earned run with three strikeouts, to earn the win for the Jackets.

Davies said he feels as if , entering the game, his team n was not only fighting for a spot in the championship game, but also a spot in an NCAA Regional.

“The bigger deal for me is to win this game,” Davies said. “We just need to get into the Regionals and we need every win we can get. I don’t want to stop playing. This is my last year, my last hoorah, so I just want to keep playing as much as I possibly can.”

Tech had another hot day at the plate, as Zane Evans matched his three-hit, six-RBI performance on Friday with another three-hit performance. The 10 hits by the Jackets helped them become, at 3-0, the only undefeated team at in the tournament.

Although the Jackets led the ACC in runs scored throughout the year, their pitching has stepped up in the tournament thus far. The team ERA for Tech in three games stands at 2.70 heading into the championship game.

Davies’ one run given up through six innings was matched by another stellar outing by Alex Cruz, who held the Tigers scoreless through three innings to earn the save.

The lone bright spot for the Tigers was their relief pitching from Scott Firth. Starter Kevin Pohle was pulled after 21/3 innings, in which he gave up four earned runs, but Firth came in and pitched 61/3 strong innings, only allowing one unearned run and four hits in the relief performance.

“Scott came in and did a real nice job for us, but we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Clemson coach Jack Leggett said.

The Jackets now await either N.C. State or Miami in the championship game on Sunday at noon. If the Wolfpack defeated the Tar Heels Saturday night, it will advance to the championship game. If North Carolina won, Miami will play for the ACC crown.

That game’s result was not available at press time for this edition.

Georgia Tech’s Josh Heddinger, a midweek starter who has compiled a 3-4 record with a 5.09 ERA this season, will get the start.

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